Let me just get some random thoughts of my head,whilst the lingering stench is still there.
1.Was having a makan session with Kai the other day,and he casually mentioned about a preacher he had heard earlier after his dawn prayers that Sunday.Kai used the term,”fundamentalist” in his casual description of this particular preacher.Was interested to know what could have drove this bro of mine to say such things.Apparently,this preacher had implied explicitly that the pursuit of all things material,ie,wealth and riches was something that should not be propagated.I understand from where Kai was coming from,on this issue,as it was akin to insinuating that collecting riches was perhaps sinful,if in accordance to this preacher’s warped view.
Hijazi’s Opinion:I sincerely attest to the statement that money does not motivate me.Riches do not exactly drive me.Wealth does not make me want to burn the midnight oil.BUT,I can categorically say that the pursuit of such matters are important.Why?For the basic reason that the Muslim world is so much poorer if warped minded preachers as the one mentioned go around advocating such virtues.Look at how the dignity and self respect of Muslims around the world are being raped by the domineering echelons of the rich and famous.It is such preachers that make the fundamental stands of the community so divided.In one extreme you have hoardes of the community hell bent on proving that their MLM products are the Master Key answer to financial freedom.At the other end you have preachers who denounce the pursue of material wealth as just a fallacy.So,Mr Preacher,let me conclude convincingly,that in no way,is your wages paid by some higher authorities like an islamic Religious Hub or something.Let me conclude that you are really pursuing the course of being a daí,on the basis of heavenly rewards.Or are you trapped in that cycle of getting a monthly pay through the good grace of board sitting clerics and goodwill of “golden handshaking” of the community.Perhaps Mr Preacher could convey his message to a few of his esteemed colleagues,who drive Sillicas or Hummers to mosques.Or esteemed colleagues who get themselves on that money generating systems implemented by MLM companies.Because it is absolutely disgusting if you expound to the community on the evils of reaching out to the wealth,just because you yourself,might be having difficulty doing such.
In my financial seminars,I always exert the importance of holding some sort of economic power within your family,community and country.You know why?
- Explain to me how you are able to fulfill one of the religion’s pillars of giving Zakat,if you are someone who is not in the financial standing to do so?You want to be stuck being on the receiving end of the Zakat?
- Explain to me how you are going to fund your child’s education,to a higher degree of learnin,so that he will contribute meaningfully to the society?
- Explain to me what you are going to leave for your family as a legacy when it’s already being ordained to you in the Quran to leave at least a year’s expense for your wife?Don’t tell me that you are going to leave them with that 10 year zero downpayment Suzuki Swift installments?
- Explain to me the Hadith,in which the Prophet asked us to chase 5 things before they come to pass us,which includes to chase after richness before poverty?
- Explain to me,why during the ages of the Prophet’s rule,the empire was so well sustained that when the Caliph Omar wanted to distribute Zakat,there were none eligible to receive them,because everyone had enough?Tell that to the tent camping Muslim families over at Changi.
- Explain to me why in the Prophet’s time,after the war,the Muslims were entitled to the booties of war?Tell me that wealth was not important to the Prophet?
- Explain to me why individuals such as the Prophet Solomon,Joseph,Caliph Uthman Ibn Affan and Abdurrahman Ibn Auf were all recognized as wealthy individuals in Islam?Are they assured of a place in Jannah?
…and I believe there are so many other simple example you can cite for me to explain the rationale on why the pursuit of wealth is a must.Even so in today’s pathetic state of Muslims.How to liberate the dignity of your community,if such irresponsible preaching is allowed?
I’ve always had that fair share of prospective clients,telling me,that they will need to consult their respective preachers before deciding on purchasing any financial plans.They cited reasons such as whether such things are permissible.They worry about the mechanisms.In short,they wanted to be aligned with the values of a pious,religion abiding Muslims.When they do that,I usually do not pursue the matter even further for I know the light of enlightenment is not on them.Here,in front of them,is a professional educated on the areas pertaining to an important aspect of their lives,and they wanna seek a second,biased and ignorant opinion.It’s just an excuse I know,but I am definitely not that concerned to even breathe a word of argument.Because I would have asked them.
- If your particular preacher is to tell you that such advice is not permissible, you will not proceed right?Excellent.So,tell me.If the entire Islamic League of preachers and scholars with the valid reasonings from Quran and Hadith tells you that,
- TV is not permissible…will you still watch it?
- Your aurat(modesty)is to be covered…will you do it?
- You cannot miss your daily prayers…will you miss it?
- and other simple obligations…can you fulfill it?
So,my take is simple.Do not expound religion for the convenience of an excuse.Because my principle is simple.If you want to use the Book,just make sure I do not use that same book to knock that ignorant head.
Anyway,my point is this.
The pursuit of wealth is never wrong if it’s coupled with the best of intentions,deeds and systems.In fact,it is in my opinion,that the moral obligation of being wealthy should be on a Muslim’s shoulders.On that simple verse that Allah has created a vicerent/caliph on the Earth to manage His earth.Now,do you really think He meant it for someone who is a mismanaged Muslim?
Wealth is very much an aspect a Muslim should look into seriously,and not as just issues of predestined circumstance.In fact there is a Hadith that mentions that there will come a time when wealth is very much needed to perform religious obligations.Allah prefers a stronger Muslim over a weaker one.And in that light too,that He prefers a wealthier Muslim over a poorer one.Provided only on the basis of equality in faith’s strength.
So,Mr Preacher and future preachers,please preach respectfully and with clearer insights for the benefits of the society.Do not be a generic model of mediocrity.For every salary paid preacher here,I know that there are a few thousands out there preaching the same thing,only for the blessings of Allah.So place your mouth where your deen is.